Today the NY Post ran an article announcing the birth of Elton John's son. Sweet! Too bad they mention his "wife" in the headline. To say Elton John has a wife is homophobic, sexist, and just plain bad journalism.
There are so many things wrong with the headline Elton & Wife Proud Dads that I don't know where to begin. Elton John and his partner, David Furnish, have been together for 17 years, which is like 907,543 in gay relationship years. They received a civil union in the U.K. in 2005, but they aren't "married" because that is not allowed in either of the countries where they reside (thought it is legal in Furnish's native Canada, but no one really wants to get married in Canada). That means it is factually inaccurate to refer to Furnish as John's "wife," because they are not legally married. If they were, you would know it, because they would have a wedding so lavish and ornate that it would make the upcoming nuptials of Prince William and Kate Middleton look like a small ceremony thrown on a budget.
Secondly, Furnish is a man! He can't be a wife because he's lacking several things necessary for him to be one including two breasts, two ovaries, and one additional X chromosome. Also, we are going to go out on a limb and guess that he's the top, which makes his manly assets that much more valuable to his relationship with Elty. The inaccuracy of the headline is compounded by the fact that a man can't be, by definition, someone's wife, even in the new all-gay military that we have.
Finally, it is just a cheap, dull, and unoriginal joke, that it's below the NY Post, which prides itself on having some of the cleverest headlines in the business. Oh, and it's doubly offensive to gay men, not only because it says that anyone who would want to enter into a relationship with another man is womanly, but also because it also pokes fun at the fact that we can't even get married if we want to. Then it reappropriates the word "proud," which gay men associate with Gay Pride and celebrating our liberation. Sorry, Post, but only gays get to make fun of Pride—and god knows we do.
But it's not just gays who should be pissed off by this headline, but women as well. The basis of this swipe is that being a woman is somehow "less than" being a man. By painting Furnish as a woman it is somehow supposed to diminish him and threaten his manhood and make all women somehow secondary to men.
I feel a little silly getting so worked up about one word in a headline in the Post. I buy the conservative rag every morning and I know what I'm getting when I open the front cover. I know not to expect fairness, especially when it comes to gay issues, but can't we at least have a little decency?
Here's the full article:
[Main image via Getty]